The Importance of Regularly Checking Your Tire Pressure
Keeping your car’s tires inflated to the proper levels doesn’t just help you stay safe on the road—it also improves the overall performance of your vehicle. Get in the habit of regularly checking your tire pressure so you can prolong the life of your treads, improve your vehicle’s fuel efficiency and give yourself some better handling and control for your vehicle. Best of all, this is a task you can do yourself—there’s no need to visit a mechanic in Sarasota, FL simply to check your tire pressure and add air. When it comes to maintaining the correct pressure for your tires, here are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind:
- You should get in the habit of checking and adjusting your tire pressure before going on long trips in particular. While you might have a newer vehicle that will alert you to drops in your tire pressure, you shouldn’t necessarily rely on that feature.
- Always set your tires to the specified pressure level listed in the owner’s manual or the tire information placard. Make sure you’re filling to the suggested level and not the maximum level—sometimes both numbers will be printed, which can be confusing.
- Keep in mind that temperature differences can affect the pressure in your tires. Colder weather often causes pressure to drop, and warmer weather can cause pressure to rise. It’s most important to check your tire pressure around the changing of the seasons.
- Make sure you use a high-quality pressure gauge when checking your tire pressure. Have a gauge in your glove compartment or trunk, even if you have a tire pressure monitoring system built into your vehicle’s computer.
There are risks associated with both overinflation and underinflation. Overinflated tires will become stiff and rigid, which can cause the contact patch (the rubber that hits the road) on the tire to be reduced. As a result, you’ll have a “harder” ride and uneven tread wear, with the center of the tire wearing down much more quickly than the sides. Overinflated tires are also more susceptible to damage by hazards you encounter on the road every day, such as potholes and other types of imperfections.
Underinflated tires, meanwhile, are incapable of holding their ideal shape, and lie flatter on the ground, meaning there is more tire than wanted that will come into contact with the road. The outside edges of the tire will wear down faster than the center of the tire tread. Underinflated tires will be more flexible as they roll along, resulting in increased resistance and friction and a loss of fuel efficiency for your vehicle. You might find it harder to maintain certain speeds as well.
This is just a small amount of information about the importance of maintaining proper tire pressure. To learn more about measuring your tire pressure and refilling your tires with air, contact Lowe’s Automotive Service, Inc. to speak with a mechanic in Sarasota, FL. We will be happy to answer your questions!